600 sub-Saharan migrants reach Spanish territory after storming barrier

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A group estimated at “over 600” undocumented migrants of sub-Saharan origin attempted to cross the border fence that separates the Spanish enclave of Ceuta from Morocco. The incident happened early on Thursday, July 26 and is one of the most violent and numerous recent crossings, according to police sources. 

The local Guardia Civil (police force) released news of the mass attempt to climb over the barrier. Of these, a total of 602 immigrants managed to get into Ceuta, of whom 132 were injured, according to the Red Cross.(El País in Spanish).

A spokesman for the Spanish police in Ceuta told AFP that migrants climbed over the double barrier, which is covered in small blades. They forced their way in “all of a sudden, with much violence”. Some attacked police with quicklime they carried in tubes and bottles, resulting in “more than a dozen police” injured, four of whom had to be hospitalized for burns in the face and arms (Daily Telegraph).

An African migrant in this still image from video climbs the border from Morocco to Spain’s North African enclave of Ceuta, Spain, July 26, 2018. FARO TV/REUTERS TV/via REUTERS SPAIN OUT.

Isabel Brasero, spokeswoman for the Red Cross, said 30 migrants with injuries were treated, none serious. Eleven of them were taken to hospital for stitches and possible fractures, she added (AFP).

She said that after they had climbed over the barrier they ran toward CETI, the centre that houses migrants once they arrive in Spanish territory.

Ceuta and Melilla — Spanish territories on Morocco’s northern border — are the two locations where the European Union has borders with Africa. Italy’s new far-right interior minister Matteo Salvini closing the route through Libya has caused people like the latest group to try Morocco instead.

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